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December 18, 2015
At Booz Allen, we’re big sports fans, and when we’re not counting down the moments to the next big kickoff, we’re excitedly working to grow our sports analytics practice.
The origin of our practice dates back several years, when members of our data science team decided to apply their prowess to the sports that they loved. We wrote cutting-edge white papers around NBA shooting zone spatial analytics and MLB pitch prediction and submitted them to the 2014 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, one of the world’s foremost data science gatherings. Since then, we’ve seen our growing practice take off, and in 2015, we became a featured sponsor of the conference.
However, we know that even more great ideas for applying analytics to the sports space exist across our firm—and fortunately, we have the tools to collect and refine them.
This summer, our team launched a sports data science challenge in The Garage, a digital space for our employees to crowdsource ideas and develop solutions to real market problems. Specifically, we asked employees for their ideas on using data science in the sports industry—on the field, off the field, and in the stands—based on three criteria:
The response we received was nothing short of tremendous. Collectively, we received 69 ideas, one the largest volume of responses ever to a Garage challenge, covering a wide variety of topics. These included using data science to create smarter stadiums, creating apps focused on fan engagement, and applying data from the NFL Combine to gain insights on potential future play performance, among many other ideas.
A panel of judges evaluated these ideas and selected 15 semi-finalists who participated in video pitches. Finally, we narrowed it down to three finalists who participated in interviews with the judges. These final ideas included:
The big winner? Matchup Maker. Congratulations to Consultants Cole Um and Drew Wilke, who’ll get the opportunity to attend the 2016 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, which Booz Allen will sponsor for the second year in a row. At the conference, Booz Allen will showcase its market-leading capabilities in sports analytics that can make ideas like Cole and Drew’s a reality for the sports industry.
Visit our capability page to learn more about how we can help you make data a transformational force across your sports organization, and download our white paper, “Data Analytics and Sports: 5 Things Sports Executives Need to Know.”